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Thread: A Neener Rather than a Gloat

  1. #11
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I am particular about these, too, I will admit that, and curious about SG. People like me would ideally have an SG attached to each stone we bought, or browsed. I checked the density of the stones I bought out of curiosity to see if there was a correlation between data and use within the acceptable ranges. There is that I can see.

    that creates a problem, though, that dealers would just sell the most dense stones right away, and then people would wait for more dense stones to show up. Unless you could charge more for the stones at the top of the density range. Just ponderings. It's so easy to draw a conclusion about the density of these stones vs. their performance because all of them are almost pure novaculite. And because in a stone that's 2.58 SG, you can actually see little pores with the naked eye, whereas you can't as you approach mid/high 2.6s where the density of the novaculite particles themselves reside.
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  2. #12
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    I'm very curious about Dan's true hards. The limited number I've seen were stunning to look at and I think Dan could sell bunches on looks alone if his website listed pictures of individual stones you could choose from. But I've always heard boring is better. Still I'd like to try one.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    The true hards are indeed stunning to look at. It seems Dans Whetstones puts them all in a "true Hard" category. True Hard- multi colored; True Hard- Translucent; and True Hard-Black. The average SG of the different colors would be difficult to ascertain unless you had a large sample of each. Even then I assume you would find a variation even within the samples. It does seem though that the pure black and translucent are more rare and collectible. For me, these stones are about a lot more than a sharp edge. Just like razor is about more than shaving. That's what why special ordered my big chunk of Arkansas Black rough cut. I love the look of it so much that it also sits out on a shelf with the razors as part of the decor.
    Last edited by Steel; 09-16-2017 at 01:34 PM.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

  4. #14
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I agree with that, too, and not in a japanese mystical sense, but in a fundamental sense that taking a piece of rock from the ground and rubbing it on steel and then rubbing that on your face (carefully) and removing your hair is a fundamental pleasure.

    A rock as nice as the black rock that I have in this thread is a measure in natural near-perfection. No better black arkansas stone has ever come out at any time. Now, I'm inclined to go measure the SG of that black stone. Luckily we live in the age of postal scales and calipers and accurate (inexpensive rules). Be right back.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Just as I suspected:

    522.58 cubic centimeters, 1385 grams. Specific gravity, 2.65.

    Almost the theoretical maximum. For you guys out there measuring novaculite, if you get above high 2.6s, you've got a problem either in measurement or calculations.

    This particular stone is 1.063" exactly on both corners at one end, and almost exactly 1.052" on the other end. It is identically wide on both ends, and dead exactly 10 inches long from end to end at each of the four corners of the cube.

    I can tell by looking at it that its complete lack of pores will have it near the theoretical maximum. Since both particles and edges of pores cut, you stack the odds in your favor finishing razors by doing your best to get a stone with the closest to zero pore volume.

    I'll measure the trans another day. It'll be about the same, but I've measured dan's trans before.

    What I said yesterday about 2.55 SG is essentially this: if 2.67 or so is the theoretical max, then 2.65 is 2.65/2.67 0.75% pores.

    2.55 is 2.55/2.67 4.5% pores by volume.

    You can finish a razor with both, but if you're going to spend a lot of money to finish razors, you should stack your odds in favor of getting the former. You can hone a razor with pressure, no pressure, etc, with the former and it will turn out finished. These are bar none the easiest hones for anyone to finish with once they are settled in, because they are not critical of pressure or direction, you just need to rub the razor on them enough to remove "priuh striuh", and they do that well. They cut ridges off well, and wide surfaces poorly, so they're quicker where you want to do quick work, and they shut down as you get closer to where you want to end up.

    When I started on this forum, I asked the question about why nobody uses arks (I came here with my hat loaded with prior observations of strop responsiveness to different stones, which corresponds to groove depth - the less deep the groves, the more orderly the edge when any flotsam and jetsam comes off. I was instantly told that the stones aren't good for razors, which seemed counterintuitive, but somethings intuition and practice are different (this is why we have arguments with engineers in hand tool woodworking all the time, because they want to think about and argue with those who do, and they assume that because they're right at work often, then they're right outside of work, in the face of practical experience). I also knew the mohs hardness of novaculite and the mohs hardness of iron carbides at full hardness, and the fact that these novaculite stones will not filly slice and dice carbides of harder types. Razors, fortunately, are almost devoid of them because edge quality is more important than anything else.

    It didn't surprise me that these work extremely well, and in playing with various stones and looking under microscopes, I've come to the conclusions that I posted here.

    Do I know more about these stones than dan's? All around, seriously doubt it. Do I know more about them in the context of razors? Probably. Do I know enough to know that everything between 2.5SG and 2.67 isn't the same in the context of razors, or even tools? Absolutely.

    I'd be willing to talk to them about it or correspond if they're interested, but I tend to get further into these things than most vendors, so I don't expect that. I have no problem pointing people to them, though, and saying that you'll be better off if you just pay the money, but as to their fairly high store front prices, I would look around peebay or other vendors who sell their stuff at retail, because they can usually do a little better than dan's does on special orders (none of them stock 10x3 black stones that I know of). That's the nature of retailers and suppliers - I understand that not undercutting the retailers is there to protect them and keep them from abandoning ship, but I'd rather buy the stones directly from dan's. I just won't pay more to do it.

    (by the way, my gripe about the trans still stands. It's policy to call anything from 3/4-1 inch a full sized stone. When I got my trans on special from dans, it was listed 10x3x1, but it showed up at 3/4. It's fair, I guess, but I like full thickness stones because they keep your fingers away from box sides, and if you ever decide to unload one, which I have a bad habit of doing, resale is a lot better. At $330 for a second, I was a bit disappointed. When this black stone showed up as a first for less than the cost of the trans second and it's over an inch thick, I had a reaction like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSr-VWc_7WQ

  • #16
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    The main problem with saying True Hard stones that aren't translucent are just as good as translucent or black Arks is that there is a range of possible SGs for all of these stones, and you basically never know what you're going to get because they don't check SG of individual stones. So, can you get aTrue Hard that is every bit as good as a translucent or black Ark? Sure, but there's no way of knowing until after you get it. But the same could be said about any two translucent stones or a translucent and a black stone.

    It is certainly safe to say that the higher the SG and harder the stone the better in the specific case of razor finishing.

  • #17
    Senior Member Longhaultanker's Avatar
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    I'm happy when anyone buys Arkansas Novaculite finishing stones from Dan's Whetstones, but DaveW, really, most of what you write sounds pretty wonk-ish with no real practical or even commercial value. Most of us who use True Hard stones from Dan's are very pleased. Most of us have either a Black or Translucent from Dan's , or both, as I do, along with the True Hard and find indistinguishable difference between them, as Steve Kirschman said there would be.

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    Both deliver excellent, indistinguishable edges. If it's just the same I'll take my explanations regarding Arkansas Novaculite from the Kirschman family at Dan's.
    A little advice: Don't impede an 80,000 lbs. 18 wheeler tanker carrying hazardous chemicals.

  • #18
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    That's OK. Ekretz told you the same thing I did, and there's nothing wonkish about it.

    You're certainly entitled to do whatever you'd like, but I wouldn't take the resale value risk or the specific gravity risk by deviating from the black, which is their best stone, and actually looks to cost a little less.

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